The Legal Herald Logo
Legal Analysis By Attorneys
Breaking Legal News

Hainesport, NJ - Harbor Baptist Church Youth Pastor, Sean Higgins, Charged With Sexual Exploitation of Young Boys

Hainesport, NJ - Harbor Baptist Church Youth Pastor, Sean Higgins, Charged With Sexual Exploitation of Young Boys
Published: August 22, 2022
By: Darla Medina
Last Updated on August 22, 2022

Youth Pastor Facing Multiple Charges of Sexual Exploitation of Minors

According to the Office of the Burlington County Prosecutor, a youth pastor is facing multiple sex crime charges while serving as the youth pastor at Harbor Baptist Church at 2131 Marne Hwy, Hainesport, NJ 08036. 

Sean Higgins, 31, was arrested in October 2020 after several victims came forward with similar stories, including sexual exploitation and blackmail. According to the report, Higgins was taking on the persona of a teen girl, sometimes under the fictitious name Julie or Julia Miller, on social media sites such as Snapchat and Instagram. He would encourage boys aged 12 to 17 to send him nude pictures. As soon as he received the explicit photos, Higgins would then threaten to send the photos to all the victim's friends if they did not facilitate his requests. Each of the boys was forced to perform sexual acts on themselves while being recorded by Higgins on the private chat. Many victims can be heard begging Higgins to allow the acts to stop. 

Higgins was working as a youth pastor and music leader at the Hainesport Harbor Baptist Church when the sex crimes took place in 2020. Additionally, he taught at the private K-12 school, Harbor Baptist Academy, located on the same property. Investigators have identified at least 13 victims across many states, including New Jersey, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Michigan, South Dakota, and Tennessee. A grand jury has indicted Higgins on 75 total counts, including charges of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Aggravated Sexual Assault, Criminal Sexual Contact, Cyber Harassment, and Obscenity to a Minor. 

guy d'andrea sexual abuse lawyer
Hi. I am attorney Guy D'Andrea. If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a similar incident, I would be happy to speak with you and discuss your options.
Call the number below. It would be my honor to help you. Consultations are free.
(888) 997-3792

Legal Options of Victims Sexually Exploited by a Youth Pastor

Attorney contributor Guy D'Andrea is an experienced sexual abuse lawyer who represents victims of sex crimes in New Jersey. Brian recently shared his thoughts on victims’ rights to help them determine their legal options.

“Sadly, sexual predators are often found in positions of authority and trust, such as youth pastors and teachers. Churches have a legal duty to protect their congregation and take safety measures seriously. To uphold safety, they should ensure each member of the clergy has undergone a background check. Additionally, security measures within the church and school should include surveillance cameras, among other preventative measures.”

“When a youth pastor is arrested and charged with sex crimes, it is necessary to make sure the church did everything necessary to prevent victims within the congregation. Unfortunately, church security negligence can allow a perpetrator to use their position to lure victims. Victims should speak with an experienced sexual assault attorney to learn all their legal options. A church might be considered liable if sexual misconduct occurred by an employee due to negligence. Furthermore, if a church was aware of allegations of sex crimes yet did not report it to authorities, it could be held accountable. In some negligence cases, the victim and their family would have grounds for a civil lawsuit against the negligent church.”


Office of the Burlington County Prosecutor

Got A Tip Or Questions 
About A Story?
Call Us!
The Legal Herald
About the Author
Darla Medina
About Darla Medina
Editor: Darla is a content writer with a focus on the legal field. She covers cases of sexual abuse, drunk driving, and preventable violent crime for the Legal Herald. Contact Darla: This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
Read some recent posts
Find A Local Lawyer

  • Details
  • Incident
Want To Contribute Breaking News? 
Contact Us Today
Legal Herald
10355 Kensington Shore Dr. #102
Orlando, FL 32827
Call: (888) 997-3792
© 2020 The Legal Herald, a division of Eagle Peak Marketing, LLC. All rights reserved.

We would like our readers to know that the information in this story may be sourced from secondary sources and may therefore contain inaccuracies. We will correct them if and when they are brought to our attention or we discover them through our editing process. If you have any concerns about this post, please contact us immediately and we will rectify issues. DISCLAIMER: The material contained in this post is for general informational purposes. It is not intended to constitute or express legal or medical advice. Any laws referenced herein are substantially based on general legal principles and may not be applicable to your particular situation. Laws can often be different from one jurisdiction to the next. The Legal Herald is not a law firm. Law firms and lawyers from around the country may apply to become a sponsor or contributor to The Legal Herald.
SitemapMedia RoomDisclaimer / Terms Of Service & Privacy Policy